St John Ambulance NI surge in their efforts to assist on the frontline against COVID-19.

St John Ambulance NI surge in their efforts to assist on the frontline against COVID-19. St John Ambulance NI step up, lift the baton and stand shoulder to shoulder with their NHS and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service colleagues on the frontline.

Operating as part of the nation's leading health and first aid charity, we have developed a series of measures and plans in our attempt to help kill this deadly COVID-19 virus!

Across the region of Northern Ireland our expertly trained ambulance clinicians (all of whom are volunteers), have been deploying to assist the National Health Service and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

From mid-March our mission has consisted solely on helping the various NHS Health Trusts get hospitals, departments, areas, wards and beds emptied of those patients who can be discharged and taken home. Through this valuable work our ambulance crews are playing a vital role in the preparation of what is expected and in preparation for the expected escalation of COVID-19 patients.

Further activity on the frontline dealing with COVID-19 suspected / confirmed patients is being carefully monitored and our ambulance units up and down the country are preparing for this inevitability.

Given the UK government decision on March 23 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and detailed within The Coronavirus Bill 2020; we in SJA NI aim to utilise the provision announced by the Prime Minister. This will allow our volunteers to take time away from their usual work and volunteer in our emergency ambulances fighting on the frontline against COVID-19.

St John people who are deployed in support, coordination or leadership roles for our COVID-19 operation are essential and classed as key workers.

Our team of expert volunteer trainers in St John Ambulance Northern Ireland are working hard through virtual platforms to fast-track and progress more volunteers through advanced first aid and ambulance crew clinical qualifications. By carrying out this process we will get 'more boots on the ground' and volunteers deploying in our emergency ambulances to support and promote our existing efforts on the frontline.

"St John Ambulance NI stands ready, willing and waiting to go that extra mile and offer all support that we can to our NHS and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service colleagues." The Regional Manager for SJA NI, Mr William P McCormick, reports that he is happy with the preparedness of SJA NI thus far and comments that " an organisation and as one family of St John - we will tackle this global pandemic together just like our ancestors did at the humble beginning of this fabulous organisation that we know today!

"In recent weeks we have been working extremely closely with our counterparts in the NHS and the NIAS. Our current response to the pandemic is putting the hospitals and Health Trusts in a very positive position as we clear bed space and help get wards and departments ready for the expected escalation of COVID-19 patients.

"Our organisation in Northern Ireland consists of around 1860 volunteers from first aiders to expert ambulance crews. Of these 1860, around 450 volunteers are expertly trained emergency ambulance clinicians.

"These 450 volunteers will be deploying further and more extensively as the demand on our service increases over coming weeks."

St John Ambulance Northern Ireland are determined to play their part, to step up, to continue to help our communities and to deploy adding more shoulders to the wheel in the fight against this COVID-19 virus.

In order to carry out our operation we need your support now more than ever - are you with us?

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